Upper St. Clair woman's death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
A 2012 Upper St. Clair High School graduate and National Merit Scholar who died in Philadelphia of a suspected case of meningitis is being remembered as an outstanding student.
Drexel University officials said Stephanie Ross, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital on Monday after being found unresponsive by her housemates at the Phi Mu sorority house.
Authorities are treating her death as a suspected case of meningitis, but a cause has not been officially determined, Philadelphia Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran said.
Prophylactic antibiotics are being made available at the university's Student Health Center for those who came in close contact with Ross, a university spokeswoman said.
Officials at Upper St. Clair High School said the community is “deeply saddened” to learn of her death. Ross was a softball player, volunteer and National Merit Scholar at the school.
“On behalf of the school district, I extend our sympathy to the family and friends of Stephanie,” Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said in a statement.
Kevin Coffman, who taught Ross at Upper St. Clair for three years, including her senior year when she studied AP Statistics, remembered her as an outstanding student with a positive outlook.
“Stephanie was the kind of student you will never forget. She had such a passion for life. I never saw her without a smile on her face,” Coffman said.
Upper St. Clair teacher Clay Yonker taught Ross AP Physics C-Mechanics, one of the school's most challenging courses.
“Stephanie was very bright and was in our accelerated math program. I was not surprised that she chose to study engineering in college,” Yonker said.
Attempts to reach Ross' family were not successful. Upper St. Clair officials said support services are available to students through the counseling office.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.